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NASCAR Betting in Indiana

IN Betting Update: As is the case with all major sports, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the postponement or cancellation of many scheduled NASCAR events. This article reflects the significantly altered nature of NASCAR’s 2020 outlook.

Racing fans are well aware of the thrill that goes hand in hand with live NASCAR racing. Even more folks are beginning to catch on. The legalization of sports betting in a number of states across the US is playing a big role in that.

Indiana residents are among the lucky ones who can legally and safely bet on the sports of their choice, including NASCAR. The biggest racing circuit in the land is big business.

For 10 months out of the year, there’s a race to look forward to nearly every weekend. The fact that you can get in on the action only enhances the enjoyment.

NASCAR is in tune with the enthusiasm and has inked a deal with Genius Sports as its exclusive data provider. As part of the deal, sportsbooks will benefit from an enhanced live betting product.

Yep, you can bet on the races in real time. Getting started is easy. You can have an account set up in no time and be ready to bet whenever and wherever you like in Indiana.

We’re going to cover everything you need to know about betting on NASCAR right here, starting with the top races on the docket.

Biggest NASCAR races to bet on in 2020

The NASCAR schedule runs from February through November. That means there are plenty of races to bet on, but some of them stand out as the best of the best and attract more betting interest than the others. Here’s a quick look at the biggest events of the year.

Daytona 500

  • Sunday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m. ET, Fox
  • Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Last year’s winner: Denny Hamlin

Perhaps the biggest race of the calendar year also serves as the unofficial season kickoff.

NASCAR All-Star Race

  • Saturday, May 16, at 9 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Last year’s winner: Kyle Larson

This primetime NASCAR race always attracts a ton of betting action.

Coca-Cola 600

  • Sunday, May 24, at 6 p.m. ET, Fox
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Last year’s winner: Martin Truex Jr.

The longest NASCAR race of the season is a 600-mile test of endurance.

Brickyard 400

  • Sunday, July 5, at 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Last year’s winner: Kevin Harvick

Indiana plays host to one of the biggest events on the NASCAR summer racing calendar.

NASCAR Cup Series Championship

  • Sunday, Nov. 8, at 3 p.m. ET, NBC
  • Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona
  • Last year’s winner: Kyle Busch

A champion will be crowned at the final race of the NASCAR season.

While these are the biggest races, there are plenty more events to enjoy over the remainder of the season. Here’s the rest of the 2020 NASCAR schedule.

  • Busch Clash at Daytona. Sunday, Feb. 9, 3 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1. Thursday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2. Thursday, Feb. 13, 9 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Pennzoil 400. Sunday, Feb. 23, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox.
  • Auto Club 400. Sunday, March 1, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox.
  • FanShield 500. Sunday, March 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox.
  • Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500. Sunday, March 15, 2 p.m. ET, Fox. (POSTPONED)
  • Dixie Vodka 400. Sunday, March 22, 2 p.m. ET, Fox. (POSTPONED)
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Sunday, March 29, 2 p.m. ET, FS1. (POSTPONED)
  • Food City 500. Sunday, April 5, 2 p.m. ET, FS1. (POSTPONED)
  • Toyota Owners 400. Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m. ET, Fox. (POSTPONED)
  • Geico 500. Sunday, April 26, 2 p.m. ET, Fox. (POSTPONED)
  • NASCAR Cup Series Race at Dover. Sunday, May 3, 2 p.m. ET, FS1. (POSTPONED)
  • Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. Saturday, May 9, 8 p.m. ET, FS1.
  • NASCAR All-Star Open. Saturday, May 16, 7 p.m. ET, FS1.
  • Kansas 400. Sunday, May 31, 2 p.m. ET, FS1.
  • FireKeepers Casino 400. Sunday, June 7, 2 p.m. ET, FS1.
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350. Sunday, June 14, 3 p.m. ET, FS1.
  • Chicagoland 400. Sunday, June 21, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Kids Free 325. Saturday, June 27, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Worry-Free Weather Guarantee 350. Sunday, June 28, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Quaker State 400. Saturday July 11, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. Sunday, July 19, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Consumers Energy 400. Sunday, Aug. 9, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Go Bowling at the Glen. Sunday, Aug. 16, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Drydene 400. Sunday, Aug. 23, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Coke Zero Sugar 400. Saturday, Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
  • Southern 500. Sunday, Sept. 6, 6 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Federated Auto Parts 400. Saturday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • South Point 400. Sunday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Alabama 500. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2 p.m. ET, NBC.
  • Bank of America Roval 400. Sunday, Oct. 11, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
  • Hollywood Casino 400. Sunday, Oct. 18, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
  • Texas 500. Sunday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN.
  • Xfinity 500. Sunday, Nov. 1, 2 p.m. ET, NBC.

Add it all up, and you will have plenty of chances to bet on NASCAR in 2020.

NASCAR betting odds

Indiana sportsbooks will post odds for each of the weekly races in advance of the event, typically early in the week for races that take place over the weekend. For the major races like the Daytona 500, futures odds will be released well in advance.

You’ll find that there are a number of different ways to bet on the races. Here’s a look at the most popular NASCAR wager types and examples for each.

Betting on the winner of race: This is a simple bet on which driver will come out on top.

Kyle Busch                  +120

Denny Hamlin             +150

Kevin Harvick             +170

And so on. Odds will be listed for all of the drivers scheduled to compete.

Betting on the top three finishers: A bet on a driver in the field to place in the top three.

Martin Truex               +190

Chase Elliott                +210

Joey Logano               +230

Betting on lap times: A bet on which driver will record the fastest lap time in the race.

Kyle Busch                  +130

Martin Truex               +150

Denny Hamlin             +170

Betting on the pole position: A wager on which driver will secure pole position for the upcoming race.

Kevin Harvick             +150

Chase Elliott                +170

Joey Logano               +190

Betting on head-to-head matchups: Oddsmakers will pair drivers together for you to decide which one will perform the best.

Brad Keselowski         -130

Jimmie Johnson         +120

Betting on group matchups: A bet in which you’re picking the best performing driver out of a group.

Ryan Blaney   +130

Alex Bowman  +150

Kyle Larson     +170

Kurt Busch      +190

How to bet on NASCAR futures

As mentioned, you’ll find futures bets available for some of the larger races on the schedule. The odds are listed just like you’ll find when it’s time to bet on the outright winner. For example:

Futures odds for Daytona 500

Kyle Busch                  +140

Denny Hamlin             +170

Jimmie Johnson         +200

Odds will be listed for all drivers expected to compete in the race. Those aren’t the only options available in the NASCAR futures market, however. Offerings will vary at different sportsbooks, but here are some examples of what you may find.

  • Driver to win the NASCAR Championship.
  • Driver to earn most points for NASCAR season.
  • Driver to post most wins in 2020.

How to bet on NASCAR head-to-head

Picking the outright winner of a race gives you plenty of rooting interest, but you can increase your profit potential by exploring other wagering opportunities. One of the top ways to do so is by focusing on NASCAR head-to-head matchups.

These are very similar to money line bets you’ll find in other major sports. Two drivers will be paired by the sportsbook, and you simply need to decide which one will perform the best.

  • Denny Hamlin -110
  • Chase Elliot +110

There are normally several matchups to choose from, many of which will have a clear favorite and underdog. You can bet on multiple matchups to increase rooting interest and potential returns, or just key in on a couple that you find really appealing.

NASCAR Cup Championship betting odds

The chase for the NASCAR Cup Championship continues all season long. From the first race on the calendar until later in the year, drivers are racking up points all along the way.

The top performers qualify for the playoff races, and a champ is crowned at the final event of the season. You can place your bets on which driver you think will win the title at any point in the year, thanks to the NASCAR futures market.

Odds are released in advance of the season. You’ll see some movement once the market has a chance to react, as well as after weekly results are posted.

In addition to scanning for potentially profitable betting opportunities, NASCAR Cup Championship betting odds make for a great way to stay on top of where things stand for the current season.

NASCAR prop bets

In addition to all of the above wager types, you’ll find an array of prop betting opportunities for NASCAR races. These are essentially side bets on things that may occur during the running of the race.

Offerings will vary depending on the sportsbook, but here are some examples of the types of bets you will find.

  • Over/under on the number of drivers who will complete the race.
  • Manufacturer of vehicle raced by winning driver.
  • Total number of crashes during the race.

Prop bets not only add entertainment value to the race, but you can enhance returns by scouting the board and zeroing in on the options you deem to be the most predictable.

NASCAR live betting

Live betting affords users the chance to explore even more wagering opportunities after the race has begun. This is a market that’s going to continue to grow for NASCAR, thanks in no small part to the aforementioned Genius platform.

Sportsbooks are ready to step their game up even further with NASCAR live betting. The end result for bettors will be even more options to consider. Here’s a sampling of some of the bet types you may come across.

  • Updated odds for race winner.
  • Head-to-head bets on key drivers in race.
  • Over/under on finishing position for race favorites.

As the action unfolds on the track, the market will update in real time. It moves fast, so keep your eyes peeled for the opportunities you like the best. The best way to make that happen is via a sports betting app, as it’ll allow you to react quickly to choices that could disappear in an instant.

How the NASCAR season works

The NASCAR season is one of the more lengthy ones in the world of professional sports. It runs from February through November, and each of the races on the schedule means something for the season-long chase.

The regular season part of the schedule runs from February through the end of August. All of the drivers on the circuit accumulate points based on how they perform in each of the races along the way.

Once the last regular season race is run, the top 16 drivers in the standings advance to the playoffs. This is a series of 10 races, the final of which is the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race. At the conclusion of that stellar event, the season-long champion is crowned.

How the NASCAR point system works

For each NASCAR race, drivers earn points based on how they finish. If it’s a race with 40 drivers, the winning driver would get 40 points, 39 goes to second place, 38 for third place, and so on all the way down to the driver who finishes last.

There are also opportunities for drivers to earn bonus points for instances such as most laps led in a race. At the conclusion of the regular season, the 16 drivers who have gained the most points advance to the playoffs.

The points system continues for the final 10 races, with the overall champion decided at the final event of the season, the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race.

NASCAR betting strategies

Just like all of the other major sports, there are a number of different ways you can approach NASCAR betting. You can seek out the advice of others, do your own simple research, or immerse yourself into each race and dig out every factoid imaginable.

When starting out, there’s no need to overwhelm yourself with information. Start with the basics and master those before taking too deep of a dive. Here are four key steps to focus on as you begin learning how to bet on NASCAR.

Know the race and track

There is no set length for NASCAR races or one-size-fits-all track. Each week is a new competition. Some races will be shorter and run on fast tracks, while others will be longer and put an emphasis on endurance.

As you begin your weekly research, understand the conditions of the upcoming race. Certain drivers perform great on some tracks while coming up short on others. Study the recent history of the event and make note of which drivers have performed well here in the past.

Recent and season-long driver performance

Athletes in all sports go through good runs and bad stretches. NASCAR drivers are no different. Name recognition is great and all, but the actual performance on the track means a whole lot more.

Take the time to study recent form for each driver scheduled to compete. How has he fared in the last three races? Last five? Do the same on season to date by consulting the cup championship points leaderboard, and also take a glance at the futures market for a glimpse into market sentiment.

Understand what the odds are telling you

Each race on the docket will have clear cut favorites and longshots, as well as a whole bunch of drivers who fall in the middle. Respect what the odds are telling you and use it to your advantage as a research helper.

Oddsmakers have reams of data at their disposal when making lines, so there is a method to the madness. Compare the weekly odds with what you have come up with in your own research. From there, try to spot any inefficiencies or drivers who are being underrated by oddsmakers and the betting community.

Stay on top of the news

Get in the habit of staying on top of the general news surrounding NASCAR. In the run-up to each race, make a mental note of items that really stick out. Additionally, be sure to review qualifying runs for the race, as these can be a great indicator of who may be in line for an exceptional race, as well as for those who may fall flat.

These four simple steps can make a fantastic building block for your own NASCAR betting strategy. Once you are comfortable with this process, you can begin adding on additional focus areas, such as advanced stats and metrics.

Also, take the time to do some research on different NASCAR betting strategies. You don’t need to implement any verbatim. The idea is to educate yourself and to spot additional pieces of intel that may make sense for your own routine.

You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at what you learn along the way. Before too long, you’ll have a NASCAR betting strategy of your own.

NASCAR Betting FAQs

How long do NASCAR races take?

The answer to this question varies and directly depends on the track and length of the race. For example, shorter races can be completed in under two hours, but lengthier races on the circuit could take four hours or more.

How many laps are NASCAR races?

This will also depend on the length of the race and size of the track. For a typical race that’s between 400 and 500 miles long, it’ll be around 200 laps or so. As part of your weekly research, you’ll be able to dig into the exact specifications of the upcoming race.

How many drivers are there in a NASCAR race?

For a standard NASCAR race, there are 43 slots to fill. However, that doesn’t mean that each race will have a total of 43 drivers at the start or finish. There may be fewer scheduled to compete some weeks, and not all drivers who begin the race will finish. In the lead-up to each race, you’ll be able to review drivers scheduled to compete, and any scratches that may occur will be covered in the NASCAR news cycle.

Which driver has won the Daytona 500 the most times?

Dale Earnhardt holds the record for most Daytona 500 wins with seven. In second place is Cale Yarborough, who racked up four victories during his career. Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Dale Elliott are all tied for third place with three wins apiece.

What is a NASCAR qualifying run?

A qualifying run takes place in the days leading up to the weekly races. In a nutshell, this is how starting positions are determined for the upcoming race. It’s also a great research point for NASCAR bettors. Drivers who perform well in qualifying runs could be in for good performances, while those who run into trouble may be in for a long weekend. Naturally, there are no guarantees that a race will break in the same fashion as qualifiers, but it’s still a valuable data point to consider.